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Does the Introduction of a Vascular Limb Salvage Service Improve One Year Amputation Outcomes for Patients with Chronic Limb-Threatening Ischaemia?

Published:February 11, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2020.12.007

      Objective

      Vascular limb salvage services are recommended by the Global Vascular Guidelines to help improve outcomes for patients with chronic limb-threatening ischaemia (CLTI), although their description within the literature is limited. This study reports the 12 month outcomes for an outpatient based vascular limb salvage (VaLS) clinic.

      Methods

      An analysis of a prospectively maintained database, involving all consecutive patients diagnosed with CLTI within the VaLS clinic from February 2018–February 2019, was undertaken. Data were compared with two comparator cohorts, identified from coding data: 1) patients managed prior to the clinic, between May 2017 and February 2018 (Pre-Clinic [PC]); and 2) patients managed outside of clinic, between February 2018 and February 2019 (Alternative Pathways [AP]). Freedom from major amputation at 12 months was the primary outcome. Kaplan–Meier plots and adjusted Cox’s proportional hazard models (aHR) were used to compare outcomes.

      Results

      Five hundred and sixty-six patients (VaLS 158, AP 173, PC 235) were included (median age 74 years). Patients managed within the VaLS cohort were statistically significantly more likely to be free from major amputation (90.5%) compared with both the AP (82.1%, aHR 0.52, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.28 – 0.98, p = .041) and the PC (80.0%; aHR 0.50, 95% CI 0.28 – 0.91, p = .022) cohorts at 12 months, after adjustment for age, disease severity, and presence of diabetes.

      Conclusion

      This study supports the recommendations of the Global Vascular Guidelines that vascular limb salvage clinics may improve the rate of major amputation. Furthermore, the study provides a reproducible service model that delivers timely vascular assessment in an ambulatory setting. Further evaluation is required to assess longer term outcomes.

      Keywords

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